“We’re making a difference with stronger expectations and greater support. The plan we’ve set out today allows us to take the next steps to get more New Zealanders off welfare and into work,” says National Party Social Development spokesperson Paula Bennett.
“National is focused on building a stronger economy and creating opportunities for more jobs and higher wages. Jobseekers are in the best position in years to take advantage of New Zealand’s economic growth. We’ll be supporting them with our investment approach and targeting more resources earlier to those who need the most help.
“We will reduce the total number of people receiving a benefit by 75,000 by 2017, including reducing the total number of young people aged between 16 and 24 on benefit by 40 per cent, or around 21,000 people.
“Our aim is to bring benefit numbers down from 295,000 to 220,000 people over the next three years.
“These are ambitious targets, but they are realistic and achievable. Since December 2010, nearly 60,000 people have come off welfare, and over the past two years 30,000 children have gone from living in a benefit-dependent home to a working one.”
Our plan includes:
Offering incentive payments for beneficiaries who stay in work for a set period of time.
Offering more childcare support by expanding our Flexible Childcare pilot.
Making first-time Work and Income assessments more comprehensive so people are directed to the right sort of support from the very start.
“Our target of a 40 per cent reduction of young people on benefit is a bold one, but 53,000 young people aged between 16 and 24 on welfare is too many for a country with prospects like ours,” says Mrs Bennett.
“We have already announced the expansion of our Youth Service to all teen parents and many 18 and 19 years olds. We’re going to put a similar focus on young people aged between 20 and 24 with a series of new measures, so they get the same level of attention as younger beneficiaries.”
New initiatives for young people include:
Exploring a trial where iwi administer welfare payments to young people, similar to the Youth Service.
Helping young people get driver’s licences.
Expanding the successful $3k to Christchurch scheme to other regions needing energetic and motivated workers.
Investigating a regional Work Skills scheme to get young people on benefit working in the community.
“We’ve already seen welfare numbers dropping by the thousands, and it’s important to keep our foot on the pedal,” says Mrs Bennett.
“We have a comprehensive and ambitious plan for New Zealanders on welfare who, with the right support from a re-elected National Government, can get into meaningful work that helps them and their families get ahead,” she says.
The welfare policy is here.
One of the stark differences between National and the parties on the left is the determination to help those who can work to do so.
The facts are irrefutable – getting people from welfare to work is the best way out of poverty.
Reducing welfare dependency pays both social and economic dividends for the people involved and the country.
If you don’t want a National-led government you can vote for any party.
If you do want a National-led government then you must give your party vote to National.
A man I phoned last night said he’d always been going to give Jacqui Dean his electorate vote but had been considering giving one of the wee parties his party vote. However, the closeness of the polls has convinced he can’t afford to do that if he wants a National-led government so he’s going to give two blue ticks.
He’s right. It’s the party vote that counts.
Give yours to National to provide it with the strongest possible position for post-election negotiations with potential partners.
Kim Dotcom threatened to bring down John Key and National.
His moment of truth turned into a moment of strewth, is that all there is?
The email on which he was depending to prove John Key a liar is a fake.
That ought to be the end of it, but it won’t be if Labour is in a position to form a government because in spite of Cunliffe’s yeah-nahing about working with Dotcom’s puppets in Internet Mana, he would if it meant he could be Prime Minister.
He has a chance to ensure IMP doesn’t get anywhere by firmly ruling out any post-election deal with it.
Instead of this he’s wishy-washy:
. . . Mr Cunliffe says he’s not particularly concerned if Mr Harawira loses and Labour is without a potential support partner.
Not particularly concerned? If he had the best interests of New Zealand and New Zealanders at heart he would be absolutely unequivocal that he’d be delighted if that happened.
“I want to see Kelvin Davis as the MP for Te Tai Tokerau,” he told reporters in Hamilton.
Mr Cunliffe has ruled Internet Mana out of a Labour-led government, but the door is still open for a confidence and supply agreement.
If he really wanted to see Davis as the MP for Te Tai Tokerau he’d make it quite clear that he was ruling IMP out completely.
He’s not prepared to do that which means a vote for Labour would also be a vote for Dotcom pulling the strings of MPs supporting it in government.
A win for Cunliffe would be a win for Dotcom.
The only way to rule out Dotcom is to rule out a Labour-led government.
The only way to do that is to give your party vote to National.
This morning I attended the opening of the Tasman Valley Road with Conservation Minister, Hon Dr Nick Smith. This significant upgrade was a collaboration of NZTA and DoC to improve safety and accessibility to one New Zealand’s most beautiful alpine regions. It will have great benefits for the surrounding communities.
This is #TeamKey working for New Zealand whatever the weather.
The announcement on the road says:
The completed $3 million upgrade of Tasman Valley Road at Aoraki/Mount Cook was officially opened today by Conservation Minister Dr Nick Smith.
“The major upgrade of the Tasman Valley Road is about improving the safety and accessibility to New Zealand’s most spectacular alpine environment. This new road will enable over 100,000 visitors annually to enjoy the magnificent mountain, lake and glacial views of the Tasman Valley, and the unique flora and fauna including mountain lilies and daisies, and our unique mountain parrot, the kea,” Dr Smith says.
“The upgrade unveiled today – a partnership project between the Department of Conservation and the New Zealand Transport Agency (NZTA) – will improve one of New Zealand’s iconic ‘must-visit’ destinations, and provide significant benefits for the local tourism industry.
“The original road previously ran over a very dangerous and busy 2.2-kilometre bluff section, which has now been moved and realigned to run along the Tasman Valley floor, where it follows the contours of the nearby Blue Stream. This addresses a number of safety concerns associated with high traffic volumes on a narrow and winding section of road used by large buses and campervans. The new section also reduces the potential exposure to rock falls and avalanches.”
The capital costs of the upgrade have been shared by the Department and NZTA.
“This project is a great example of the Department working in partnership with other agencies to meet the aims of all involved. The upgraded road meets the strategic investment priorities for the Department with the area being an iconic site, while also meeting the NZTA’s priorities to make improvements where there are road safety issues and high traffic volumes,” Dr Smith says.
“I encourage many New Zealanders and other visitors to the area to make good use of this new road, and enjoy one of the great sights our country has to offer.”